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NNM 2021 Personalize Your Plate

1/26/2021

Personalize Your PlateNNM 2021: Personalize Your Plate!

This year’s National Nutrition Month® theme is Personalize Your Plate. As a dietitian, you know that there’s no one-size-fits-all, no one “right way” to eat healthy. Everyone has different tastes and food preferences, different health goals, different cultures.

Given the supermarket is your workplace, you’re probably even more attuned to the personalized approach than most other health professionals.

This NNM theme comes at just the right time, when the need for greater understanding of and focus on different cultures and needs are front and center.  If you’re looking for culturally appropriate resources to help your shoppers, check out the newly updated MyPlate that provides more personalized resources for consumers to help them make small changes that are doable, affordable and result in lasting eating routines that promote good health.

Consumers can start by taking the MyPlate Quiz, a quick self-assessment tool that provides tailored resources based on your answers to a series of simple questions about current eating habits. Quiz results can be synced with the Start Simple with MyPlate app to set daily goals organized by food group. Each goal can be personalized to personal preference, cultural foodways, and budget needs, and includes sample tips as starter ideas. Additionally, MyPlate Kitchen is a great resource that serves up recipes with nutrition-focused search filters, along with videos and other resources. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also offers an array of materials to help practitioners address the food needs of different cultures.  

Read on for ideas to promote healthy eating to all of your shoppers during National Nutrition Month® and beyond. You’ll find a delicious crunchy salad recipe spiced up with kimchi sauce, handouts on diet patterns and all the forms of almonds – from flour to milk and more -for you to download, talking points and copy to use in your store materials and appearances, and a summary of a recent study that investigated the effect of almonds on markers of vascular health. Happy National Nutrition Month®!

RECIPE: Almond Crumble Salad with Kimchi Sauce

Your shoppers will love this crunchy, spicy salad. For more delicious recipes, visit our Recipe Center.  

Almond crumble salad with kimchi sauce

Sample Post:  This plant-based salad has it all – crunch, spice and big nutrition! For a protein boost, add grilled tofu or chicken breast and make it a meal.  #almonds

Talking Points: Making MyPlate YOUR Plate

Use these talking points for virtual store events or in your media appearances as a starter for talking about healthy eating with a personal twist:

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. Try these tips for healthy eating your way: 

  • Your plate should be as individual as you are! Use MyPlate as a guide to get the food groups you need in your daily diet but make it your own. For example, with grains, you might choose spaghetti, or you might choose couscous, depending on your specific tastes or your family’s food traditions.
  • While specific cultural foods may not be listed under the example foods for each of the five food groups under MyPlate, the key is to draw the connections between your cultural foods to this food group. A good way to do this is to reflect on a typical meal you eat.
  • Let’s say your favorite go-to Mediterranean breakfast is a cup of plain Greek yogurt topped with a cup of raspberries, a handful of sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey, along with a slice of whole grain toast spread with a tablespoon of almond butter.
  • That hits servings from the grain, protein, dairy and fruit group. Vegetables are the only group missing (which isn’t unusual for breakfast – you can make it up with an extra serving from the vegetable group at lunchtime). Looking at what you eat from this lens, to ensure you hit the different food groups at meals, will help make MyPlate more personal as a nutrition guide for you.
  • Take the opportunity to explore foods and recipes from different cultures to liven up your plate. MyPlate Kitchen has loads of delicious recipes to try.
  • Need more help? A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can tailor a healthful eating plan that is as special as you are. <add info on how to schedule telehealth visits with store dietitians if available in your stores>

COPY THAT: Newsletter/Circular Copy

Include this tip in your store blog, newsletter or circular:

  • No matter your individual tastes or cultural preferences, the foods you love can fit into a healthy diet. Design your plate by including your favorite foods from each of the five food groups - fruits, veggies, grains, dairy and protein- and plan a meal that includes all of them.
  • Looking for global inspiration for your meals? Check out MyPlate Kitchen. You’ll find an array of cultural recipes, along with budget-friendly ideas, too!

Talk to a registered dietitian to learn about other ways you can personalize your plate for good health. <add info on how to schedule telehealth visits with store dietitians if available in your stores>

RESEARCH UPDATE: Are Almond Eaters Healthier?

As you already know well, people are always looking for the best tips for maintaining a healthy body weight and being in top health – without overhauling their entire lives.  A studypublished in Food and Nutrition Sciences, funded by the Almond Board of California, found that people who eat almonds on a regular basis (usual intake of about an ounce in the course of a day) have a lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, and better health habits. Specifically, the study found:

  • Almond eaters who typically consumed an average of an ounce of almonds per day were more likely to be physically active and less likely to smoke, suggesting that eating almonds is associated with healthier lifestyle patterns.
  • Eating almonds was associated with higher intake of several nutrients identified as nutrients of public health concern, including dietary fiber. Almond consumers had higher intakes of other “shortfall nutrients” including vitamins A, D, E, and C; folate; and magnesium versus non-consumers.
  • Almond eaters had other healthy dietary habits including consuming less total sugar, less added sugar and less saturated fat.
  • BMI and waist circumference were both lower in almond eaters than non-almond eaters.

Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; 2001-2010) to look at the association between almond consumption and dietary adequacy and diet quality of American adults, along with other lifestyle components. Adults ages 19 years and older from across the United States were included, which totaled 24,808 people. 395 of those were almond consumers, which were defined as those who reported consuming almonds or almond butter during at least one of their two 24-hour diet recalls.

The diet quality element of the research was determined by using the USDA-developed Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2010 score (100 points is a top score) and component scores.  The HEI-2010 total score was about 15 points higher in almond consumers than non-consumers.  Nearly all diet component scores were better in almond consumers.  Interestingly, almond consumers had higher HEI scores for high-fiber foods, total vegetables, greens and beans, and total/whole fruit.

This study suggests that almond consumers may have healthier overall lifestyle components than non-consumers, and that regular consumption of almonds should be encouraged as part of a healthy dietary pattern.  Currently, less than 2% of the U.S. population eats almonds daily, which represents a large percentage of the population that might benefit from replacing empty-calorie snacks with almonds. The healthier habits associated with those who eat almonds may inspire wellness seekers to try this healthy grab-n-go snack.

Although eating almonds may not necessarily be the cause of these healthier lifestyle factors, there is something about the portfolio of healthier habits associated with people who choose almonds.  Study limitations also include the reliance on self-reported dietary intake collected during 24-hour dietary recalls, as well as the possibility that almond consumers were misclassified, and there is a potential for residual confounding.

The unique nutrient package in almonds provides 160 calories with 6 grams of plant-based protein, 4 grams of filling dietary fiber, 13 grams of good unsaturated fats,  50% of the Daily Value for vitamin E and 20% of the Daily Value for magnesium in each one ounce healthy handful. Click here to view the full study.

Resources to the Rescue

We have what you need to help your shoppers learn more about making healthy food choices. Check out our How Almonds Fit into Multiple Dietary Patterns and Almonds: The Most Versatile Nut Around handouts.

HOW ALMONDS FIT INTO MULTIPLE DIETARY PATTERNS

ALMONDS: THE MOST VERSATILE NUT AROUND

1. O’Neil CE, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni, III VL. Almond consumption is associated with better nutrient intake, nutrient adequacy and diet quality in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2010; Food and Nutrition Sciences. 2016; 7:504-515.